Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Food for Thought: SCRAN


Contrary to what the title would have you believe, there’s little gastronomic about this online resource to which the Library subscribe for historical and cultural resources related to Scotland. 

SCRAN or, to give it its full name, the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network, contains a mixture of over 480,000 images, sound files and film clips gathered from museums, galleries and archives. Subjects covered include architecture, art and design, art history, cultural studies, ethnology and literature. 

One way to search for art, design and architecture archive material is to browse ‘The Arts’ option that appears on the front page. The alternative to this would be to browse the names of contributors to SCRAN using the Advanced Search function. Some of the names to leap out include Arran Textiles, Barbara Rae, Royal Institute of Architects in Scotland, V&A Museum and Scottish councils. GSA is also a contributor with many items of Mackintosh design freely available to download due to the Library’s subscription. You’ll just need your GSA login for access off-campus.

All images can be used for educational use meaning that, provided you cite them, they can be incorporated in project work.

One of the benefits of accessing images through a database like SCRAN is that they instantly give you access to high quality and specialist collection images that may not be found through a Google search. In the case of SCRAN, the images are accompanied by text which gives you more context and details of the original source. This could provide information to assist your research or identify a new collection or archival project. Enough to whet any researcher's appetite...